|Location||Hinsdale / Ouray / Gunnison counties, Colorado, USA|
|Nearest city||Grand Junction, CO|
|Area||102,721 acres (415.70 km2)|
|Established||January 1, 1980|
|Governing body|| U.S. Forest Service |
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
The Uncompahgre Wilderness 102,721 acres (415.70 km2). Elevation in the Wilderness ranges from 8,400 feet (2,600 m) to 14,309 feet (4,361 m), at the summit of Uncompahgre Peak.(formerly called the Big Blue Wilderness) is a U.S. Wilderness Area in southwest Colorado comprising
Managed by the Uncompahgre National Forest, it is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of the town of Lake City and some 10 miles (16 km) east of the town of Ouray.
The area is named for Uncompahgre Peak, which at 14,309 feet (4,361 m) is the highest peak in the San Juan Mountains. The Wilderness includes one other prominent fourteener, Wetterhorn Peak at 14,015 feet (4,272 m).
Located within the Uncompahgre Wilderness is the Robin Redbreast Gold Mine, owned by Robert and Marjorie Miller of Montrose, Colorado. Marjorie Miller's father staked the claims in 1938, more than 50 years before the land was designated Wilderness, and was preserved by the General Mining Act of 1872. The Forest Service has established requirements that would lessen mining impacts, such as reducing motorized vehicle use and night lighting. The Millers say workers will use picks and shovels to extract ore, haul it out with mule teams over existing trails, and use helicopters to deliver larger equipment to avoid the impacts of truck use. Environmental groups have expressed concern that Acid Rock Drainage and the human footprint created by mining activities will degrade the Wilderness.
The San Juan Mountains is a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range. The last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray.
The City of Leadville, is the Statutory City that is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado. The city population was 2,602 at the 2010 census and an estimated 2,762 in 2018. Leadville is situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m).
San Miguel County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,359. The county seat is Telluride. The county is named for the San Miguel River.
Ouray County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,436. The county seat is Ouray. Because of its rugged mountain topography, Ouray County is also known as the Switzerland of America.
Gunnison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324. The county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.
Eldora, previously known as "Eldorado" then "El-Dora", then Eldora or Camp Eldorado, and still called Happy Valley, is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The CDP is a part of the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of the Eldora CDP was 142 at the United States Census 2010. The Nederland post office serves the area.
Nederland is a statutory town located near Barker Meadow Reservoir in the foothills of southwest Boulder County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census it had a population of 1,445.
Ridgway, coined Gateway to the San Juans, is a Home Rule Municipality in Ouray County, in the southwestern portion of the U.S. State of Colorado. The town is a former railroad stop on the Uncompaghre River in the northern San Juan Mountains. The town population was 713 at the 2000 census and 924 according to the 2010 census.
Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in central Colorado, United States. It is at elevation 12,095 ft (3,687 m) on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties.
La Plata Peak is the fifth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,343-foot (4,372 m) fourteener is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 22.7 miles (36.5 km) northwest by west of the Town of Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States.
Uncompahgre Peak is the sixth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,321-foot (4365.0 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the San Juan Mountains and the highest point in the drainage basin of the Colorado River and the Gulf of California. It is located in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the northern San Juans, in northern Hinsdale County approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of the town of Lake City.
The Collegiate Peaks Wilderness is a 168,000-acre (680 km2) area located in central Colorado between Leadville and Buena Vista to the east and Aspen to the west and Crested Butte to the southwest. Most of the area is in the San Isabel and Gunnison National Forests, with a smaller area in the White River National Forest southeast of Aspen. Most of the area is in northwest Chaffee County with smaller portions in Gunnison, Pitkin, and Lake counties.
The Lizard Head Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado. It contains 41,309 acres (167.17 km2) and is jointly managed by the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. It is 10 miles (16 km) southwest of the town of Telluride and is named for a prominent rock formation that is said to look like a lizard's head. Lizard Head itself is 13,113 feet (3,997 m) and is a volcanic spire of crumbling rock. Due to the steepness of the cliffs and the poor quality of the rock for fixing ropes, only experienced mountaineers should attempt to summit the spire. Another 37 miles (60 km) of trails in this infrequently visited wilderness, are also strenuous and should be attempted by more advanced backpackers.
The Powderhorn Wilderness is a 62,050-acre (251.1 km2) wilderness area in Hinsdale and Gunnison Counties, Colorado, USA, located 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Lake City. Most of the northern part of the area, 48,115 acres (194.71 km2), about 77.5%, is located on Bureau of Land Management land and its southern portion, 13,935 acres (56.39 km2), about 22.5%, is located within the Gunnison National Forest. Elevations in the wilderness range from 8,500 feet (2,600 m) at the West Fork Powderhorn Creek to 12,661 feet (3,859 m) at the summit of Calf Creek Plateau.
The Mount Sneffels Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado managed by the Uncompahgre National Forest. It is about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the town of Ouray. The area is named for Mt. Sneffels, which at 14,150 feet (4,310 m) is a prominent fourteener in the San Juan Mountains. The word "Sneffels" is likely an Americanization of the Old Norse word for Snæfell "snow mountain," which is also the namesake of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and Snæfellsjökull volcano in Iceland.
Wilson Peak is a 14,023-foot (4,274 m) mountain peak in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the Lizard Head Wilderness of the Uncompahgre National Forest, in the northwestern San Juan Mountains. It is the highest point in San Miguel County.
The Weminuche Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado managed by the United States Forest Service as part of the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side of the divide. The Weminuche Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1975, and expanded by the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of the town of Silverton, 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Durango, and 8 miles (13 km) west of South Fork. At 499,771 acres (2,022.50 km2), it is the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado. Elevation in the wilderness ranges from 7,700 feet (2,300 m) along the Animas River to 14,093 feet (4,296 m) at the summit of Windom Peak.
The Rawah Wilderness is administered by the USDA Forest Service. It is located on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, near the Wyoming border, and also in the Routt National Forest to its south. It encompasses 76,394 acres (309.16 km2) and includes 25 named lakes ranging in size from five to 39 acres. There are 85 miles (137 km) of trails in the area and elevation ranges from 8,400 feet (2,600 m) to 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Much of the area is traversed by the Medicine Bow Mountains and the Rawah Range for which it is named. The temperature in the Rawah Wilderness ranges from a low of 5 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and a high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wilderness area in north central Colorado managed jointly by the United States Forest Service and the National Park Service within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and small parts of the southern section of Rocky Mountain National Park. It borders the James Peak Wilderness to the south, and straddles the Continental Divide. The area receives high visitation due to its proximity to the Denver metropolitan area.
Guston is a silver mining ghost town in Ouray County, Colorado, 11 miles (18 km) south of Ouray following the "Million Dollar Highway". Nestled in Champion Gulch, it is located near Red Mountain and the remnants of Red Mountain Town and Ironton. The Silverton Railroad ran from Guston in the Red Mountain Pass to Silverton in San Juan County.